Canterbury produce and suppliers take pride of place in Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre's inaugural menus.
Te Pae Christchurch's culinary team, led by Executive Chef Desmond Davies, has spent months working with local suppliers to design a menu that is a true taste of Canterbury, from kawakawa-rubbed Te Mana lamb rump from Canterbury’s high country, to oven-roasted Akaroa king salmon, sustainably raised just 90 minutes from Christchurch.
Te Pae Christchurch General Manager Ross Steele said as a regeneration project for the city, it was important Te Pae Christchurch supported local suppliers wherever possible.
Ross Steele - General Manager, Te Pae Christchurch
Our clients want their delegates to be immersed in the things that make Christchurch a great place to host a conference. Food plays such a large role in the overall event experience, which is why it is so vital for us to provide a real taste of Canterbury to our guests.
Mr Steele said Canterbury was well known for its fantastic produce. “Our region has a strong and innovative agricultural background, and offers a wonderful diversity of products for our team to work with – they have really been spoiled for choice.”
Significant time has also been spent sourcing and working with small artisan suppliers, such as award-winning cheese, cured meat and olive oil producers, to provide them opportunities to showcase their products on a world stage.
As a result, more than 60 percent of Te Pae Christchurch’s food and beverage needs are sourced from within Canterbury, reducing food miles and ensuring a menu that is highly flexible, with options to cater for all dietary requirements and event needs.
In designing a modern menu that also celebrates New Zealand’s traditional food influences, Chef Davies’ dishes make the most of fresh seasonal, sustainable produce and native ingredients.
Desmond Davies - Executive Chef, Te Pae Christchurch
As well as heading out to meet suppliers, I’ve been very privileged to spend time learning about traditional ingredients such as harakeke (flax), korengo (seaweed) and pikopiko (fern tips), how to forage for them, and how best to incorporate them into the centre’s menu.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity to put a new, distinctly local twist on my European and Asian-influenced food background. We have derived so much new inspiration during the development of dishes, using ingredients like pūha (sowthistle) in a Sticky Pork Belly dish and incorporating pikopiko (fern tips) and korengo (seaweed) in our Roasted Beetroot entrée.”
Full menus encompassing Breakfast, Refreshment Breaks, Full Day, Cocktails and Canapes, and Dinner, can be found on Te Pae Christchurch’s website, while menus for specific events, such as exhibitions, can be provided to clients on request.